13-Jun-2009 -- As I was in the area to co-teach the T3G Institute--Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS--and as the institute would focus on geospatial technology and analysis, and as my route from LAX airport to Redlands, California would take me very close to 34 North 118 West, I thought it appropriate to drop in on the confluence to see how it was doing.
I flew to LAX and after renting a van, drove east on I-105 to I-605 after a bit of difficulty finding the freeway on-ramp. I drove north on I-605 and exited at Whittier. I remembered that the city suffered an earthquake sometime in the past 15 years. I had never been there before. I drove city streets and wound my way northeastward to Turnbull Canyon Road. The road winds high up into the hills, and I marveled at how a road could have been constructed up these seemingly impossible slopes. On both sides of me were open space trails until I reached the summit. I then drove north on Edgeridge Drive for a few blocks. I paid little attention to the orange road closed signs and continued on the route I had used when I visited here 3 years ago: Skyline Drive to Oak Canyon Drive.
When I reached Athel Drive, I received a shock: The road was closed. I mean "really" closed, as in a long chain link fence across the entire street with construction equipment beyond it. I then decided to try it from the other direction, so I retraced my steps, taking more careful notes this time of the orange signs: The construction would last until September. I took Edgeridge to Athel and approached this time from the southeast.
Same result! The road was blocked. I parked at 200 meters from the point and walked to the fence. From here, it was 164 meters to the summit. Although I could see a clear pathway where local folks had scrambled around the fence, I figured there was good reason for the fence to be here. Therefore, I contented myself with some fence photographs and admitted that the confluence, for now, was truly off limits. It was the first time I had successfully visited a confluence, only to return and make an unsuccessful attempt. Such is life! It was still a wonderful trip. The air was scented with local flowers and shrubs, and the view to the northeast was wonderful. I spent 10 minutes on site; the air temperatures was 75 F.
Due to the incredible slope of the road, I very slowly and gingerly backed the vehicle out. I continued downhill to the northeast, and found the Pomona Freeway. Next, I drove to Redlands. Once there, the entire week-long T3G institute turned out to be a great success. The educators we had there and my teaching colleagues made this one of the most memorable events ever.